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Research Partners: Universities at Suffolk (UK) and Virginia (USA) join Species360

The University of Suffolk is a transformational university, absorbing the best of UK university traditions and aligning them with a twenty first century audience and a modern world of employment and entrepreneurship. We are a distinctive, thriving academic community which makes a clear and immediate impact. (Photo credit: University of Suffolk)

University of Suffolk, United Kingdom, and University of Virginia (United States), have joined the Species360 Research Partner Program. Scholars at these two universities join a growing number of researchers worldwide using data from the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) to fuel discoveries in life sciences. For example, University of Virginia researchers will use ZIMS physiological markers data on primates to help inform a comparative study of parasitism and immune function related to mating seasonality in primates.

“ZIMS data are not only important in comparative medical contexts, but also for providing insights into underlying health conditions that, in the incipient stages of disease development, render individuals more vulnerable…” – COMMENTARY / Zoo and aquarium data changes what we know about species: A biodemographer’s perspective, with James R. Carey, University of California, Davis

Overview: What is the Species360 Research Partner Program

Photo courtesy of OneGreenPlanet (2018): A caretaker with Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation assesses progress toward rehabilitation, as young orphaned orangutan waits.

More than a dozen universities, labs, and other research institutions have joined the Species360 Research Partner Program in the past year. Among the participants in this program are IUCN Species Survival Commission – the Primates Section on Small Apes, University of California at Berkeley and UC Davis (United States), University of Navarro (Spain), Babes Bolyai University (Romania), Murdoch University (Australia).

Data in ZIMS is curated and shared by teams at the aquatic, zoological, and wildlife institutions that participate in global nonprofit Species360. Many do so as a key part of their roles in advancing animal welfare through leading regional and international associations like the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the British Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

As a Species360 Research Partner, these institutions may access aggregated, anonymous data in ZIMS. The data, considered essential to the study of medical treatments, lifespans, reproductive cycles, and population dynamics, is curated and shared by more than 1,200 Species360 institutional members. Animal care and medical teams, as well as dedicated registrars, record and ensure the quality of data.

Species360 serves aquariums, zoos, and wildlife centers worldwide. Together, this community sustains the world’s largest set of data on wildlife in human care – providing the data chosen by CITES, IUCN, and other global leaders to advance our understanding of populations. Species360’s mission is to improve animal welfare and inform species conservation.

University of Virginia researchers will use ZIMS physiological markers data on primates to help inform a comparative study of parasitism and immune function related to mating seasonality in primates. (Photo Credit: University of Virginia)
Wildlife experts say missing data contributed by zoos and aquariums can help save species, inform survival plans, and provide evidence to prosecute poachers. This series of interviews was recorded during CITES CoP18 gathering in Geneva. (Video)

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